Message from Myra
Greetings in this 14th Season for Nonviolence. Today I’d like to talk about gratitude. A week ago, I did a Nonviolent Communication workshop with a group of Latino leaders. Several things happened that filled my cup to overflow.
On Friday, a bitterly cold day, I walked into the little apartment, my accommodations for three days, and it was warm. Aaaah, how comforting it was. In the living room, there was a window whose sill was lined with African violets, all in full bloom. I went to wash my hands before dinner. On the vanity, standing straight and ready to serve was a dispenser with hand lotion. The lotion was scented with ginger and clementine which so delighted me. I had a delicious, succulent organic salad! To crown this feast of the senses, I listened to a CD of music that was not only beautiful, to my ear, but also soul rending. “Enough!” I said to myself with tears in my eyes, “I can’t take in anymore beauty.”
The next morning, I went in the room where the workshop took place. Someone had left a roll of lozenges on my little table to sooth the throat. Throughout the workshop, I received many hugs. There were many more things that I was grateful for, but suffice to say that my needs for comfort, beauty, caring and affection were abundantly met throughout the weekend.
My life experience has helped me appreciate life’s daily gifts. After a childhood filled with Teddy bears, children’s stories, affection and tenderness, my life took a turn when I was 11 years old. During adolescence, my needs were not met, including needs for safety or love. My life changed again for the better, thankfully, when I was in my 20s, and since then I appreciate life’s gifts wholeheartedly. Later on, I learned Nonviolent Communication, which continues to help me deepen gratitude.
I believe gratitude to be important in social change. Gratitude helps me become more aware of, and enjoy the wonderful things in my life—being alive, having fresh water to drink and friends who support me, the beauty of nature, to name a few. With a grateful heart, I naturally want to contribute to the well-being of others and of the planet. Gratitude is powerful fuel that can promote effective social change.